DateLine: 1st December 2009
Former Australia test batsman Brad Hodge has announced that he will retire from first class cricket at the end of this year.
Hodge, 35, will end his 17-year first class career playing in Victoria state's next two matches in Australia's domestic Sheffield Shield competition. He will then retire as the state's leading first class run scorer, but will continue to play for its Twenty20 and limited-overs teams.
"I feel the time is right to step down from first-class cricket," Hodge said.
"It's been a wonderful journey, which hopefully has more to go at limited-overs and Twenty20 level," he said. "Playing test cricket for Australia was an incredible experience and I feel proud and blessed to have had that opportunity."
Hodge played six tests for Australia, making a double century against South Africa in 2005, and also appeared in 25 limited-overs and eight Twenty20 internationals.
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